Did Apple just kill modern TV?


Since the release of the new video iPod and browsing through iTunes 6, I can't help but think that they way we watch TV is about to be changed. Should all the major networks sign up with Apple, cable and satellite providers are going to take a hit.

Point #1
I personally watch TV twice a week. Once on sundays for football and once on Tuesdays (Earl and the Office). Minus the sports, why am I going to continue to pay $80.00/month when I can download and watch my shows for approximately $16.00/month and not have to deal with commercials?

Point #2
For the networks to provide these videos online is probably way cheaper than putting them on TV. I don't have concrete evidence of this but it seems it would be much easier to provide a download each week, rid of the middlemen, and reap the benefits directly from the viewer.

Point #3
Regardless of the video iPod, the computer is becoming more and more of the central hub. TV used to be the focal point but its obvious now that these things are shifting. Should more shows and programs become available online, I will probably rid of my TV all together. I'll go to my friends house or the local bar for the sports...it'll give me a reason to get out of my house.

Apple needs to come out with a consumer LCD or Plasma TV. By providing this the digital hub will be complete. Once the Airport Express supports video, my TV is definately getting thrown out. I'm buying Apple's TV and running everything electronic oriented from my iMac.

Let me know if this is oversimplified.



Well, to quote my American GF:
It's the end of TV as we know it

...and I agree with you both. Here we basically watch series (which we are already doing on the computer), news, kid's cartoons (which is basically series too), movies and (rarely) sports. Of these, only news and sports needs to be on-line and immediately available, which does not necessarily mean "on TV" - at least not for news.

While it is cozy to watch the newest episode of some show with your friends or loved ones at a designated time every week, I am sure that it is equally czy to do sowhenever it is convinient for you. And with no ads. Lord knows that's the case for us, and most people we know.


Commercial television will be around for the forseeable future. Remember that all those multi-million dollar ad-buys are what pays for the show in the first place.
I agree that there is an added bonus in having commercial free downloads the day after broadcast, I think most people will still be using OTA television. Remember there are still far more households that do not have a computer than there are that have televisions.
I do see a shift in marketing though. The first episode of Lost that I downloaded was the first I had ever seen. It was compelling enough that I am going to purchase the boxed set of season 1 on DVD. I prefer letterbox and the added resolution. It cost the studios nothing and it got them another $35 that I would not have spent before.


Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
DVD did not kill TV, neither do Podcasts kill Radio.... so iPod movies will not kill TV. Maybe TV will kill itself by the excess of adds, but that's another story.


The VCR was supposed to kill TV. I think were just going to redefine what we consider TV. Whether you download your shows to your ipod, laptop, or whatever, you're still watching a TV show. TV shows filled with lots of subliminal adverts and product placement.


I stole the Sun
I don't think that anything Apple has done so far (or hinted at) will herald the end of tv as we know it. What I believe to be far more likely is a progression toward what we think of as broadcast tv (including cable and satellite) becoming a function of the internet entertainment hubs. Instead of getting your tv shows directly on your tv you'll get them from the cable company via their internet services, watch them on your tv, save them to your DVR, etc. I imagine that future set-top boxes we get from the cable and satellite companies will include all of the functions they do now, as well as a modem and router. When you turn on your tv you'll see the company's entertainment portal, where you will then choose what tv show you want to watch, what movies, what music you want to listen to, or what web sites you want to browse. A lot of this functionality is already hinted at, it's just going to go further.


i wanna say we should give credit to creative n the other video mp3 players because they were the one with the idea of a video player, i remember steve even said he didnt want to go that way many times. although the idea of tv shows to download, thats new.

it is not the end of TV, just a step closer to the end...


Ads are what pay for TV (other than pay channels like HBO which I really enjoy). Sorry, but without the commericals there is no TV. It's not exactly cheap to produce you know. So, any discussion about TV without accounting for the commercial aspect and a viable economic model is really just dreaming.


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Well, Apple's been peddling music for a few years now, and the radio and CD businesses are still decidedly alive. It's just not that compelling.

If iTunes video (iTV?) ever becomes the dominant distribution method, the price will go UP. I think the only reason ABC is doing it is because they do not expect it to cut into their TV advertising revenue in any significant way (and I think they're right, and it won't). If/when it does start cannibalizing revenue, it's going to have to start pulling that weight in addition to its own. And that's a lot of weight.

Of course, it also depends on how long it takes advertisers to realize that Nielson ratings are not a valid way of measuring advertising value, since Nielson ratings are likely to change on a much different curve than actual viewership. So SHHHH! Don't tell them that! ;)


The fact is that digital television is killing "normal" television.

- Decide when you want to watch series/news/movies/...
- Buy movies on your television via internet.
- Pause/Play function in Live shows
- Interactivity, f.e. with TV games
- etc...

It gives more than what iTunes gives now and will give later.

I don't know how the Digital TV is taking over the market in other countries (or already taken over), but here in Belgium 2 major companies (Telenet & Belgacom) are doing their best to make Digital TV as a standard.